Build It In, Don't Bolt It On

In the natural world, resilience occurs without forethought or planning. Forests recover from raging wildfires, beaches find a way to replenish their foundations after hurricanes and volcanic eruptions use spewed lava to create new land. Nature has a way of making triumphs out of tragedy.

Human resilience is a bit harder to recognize. Our flawed approach to addressing stress and challenges (which we call the “stress management model”) tells us that we can only try to cope with our stress since it is so much more than we can tolerate. Thus, we use words like “overwhelm”, “can’t take it” or “going nuts”, while the truth is that we mostly succeed at what we attempt because of our perseverance, hard work and innate smarts.

Changing our mindset to see that our resilience is built into us allows us to not be fearful as things get tough but to stick with it and let it play out in a natural way. This creates an amazing confidence that we can take on much more than we ever knew we were capable of achieving.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017


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